A ROUTINE DAY

Samuel A. Kojoglanian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Rod, who is a 75 year-old gentleman with a keen mind, and who works on top-secret government projects, was at work on a routine day. I had seen him in my office for the past 3 years, and he was doing well.

While at work a couple of months ago, he felt ill, and sat in his office alone. Five minutes later he managed to get up, walk down the hallway and collapsed in front of his colleagues. Paramedics arrived, and resuscitated him with several shocks because he was in a pulseless ventricular arrhythmia, which is a heart rhythm incompatible with life. His hospitalization was prolonged, but after 2 months, only as Rod would do, he is begging to go back to work.

The angiogram didn’t show much disease and “plumbing” problems were ruled out, consistent with the previous tests. I placed a holter monitor on him, and noted that he had developed rapid heartbeats followed by long 4 to 5 second pauses, which may have caused his cardiac arrest.

Today, he is getting an AICD, an automatic internal cardiac defibrillator, which will pace his heart when it is too slow and shock his heart if it is too fast and erratic. His prognosis is excellent given his strong heart muscle. His full recovery is remarkable, and simply a miracle. And all this started on a routine workday two months ago.

I guess it was a routine day when Jesus was lying dead in the tomb. Then he rose and stunned the world, transforming darkness to light, death to life, depression to joy, and hopelessness to hope, shocking the Roman world, which to this day, impacts us greatly.

After much thought, I really don’t think there are any routine days. Today, start your day with a thankful heart. You are a recipient of breath and a living heart. Be grateful for what is given to you. Don’t be rude; the person you bark at may be the one who will perform CPR on you. Be gracious; it is so much healthier to be kind that to be mean. Be in expectation of good to come from a God who lives and who is not mad at you, but is madly in love with you. Guard your heart. Make people smile. You just never know what a “routine” day may bring!

Steve Dominguez